Loving my commute, probably reading 2 books or so a week. Mostly crime novels (most swapped for the cost of postage through the site I often shill: www.readitswapit.co.uk).
Of all I've read, I'd say RJ Ellory's A Quiet Belief in Angels is one of the great "American" novels I've ever read. I put American in quotes because, while it is a sweeping first person narrative written from the point of view of an American in the south, Ellory is English. The book follows a man from childhood through adulthood who grows up in a small farming town where young girls are getting murdered. It's about his life, which ends up revolving around writing and trying to figure out who the killer is. The quality of the book is less in the mystery side and much more in following the growth of the character.
Followed up with his A Simple Act of Violence, which is just as well written, but not as good. It follows a string of murders in Washington DC of women who have no verifiable life histories. It's the kind of book that thumps you over the head with the political point it is trying to make (and succeeding, to be fair).
Moving on with the Ell... authors, have been reading most of the James Ellroy novels that I haven't read already. Ellroy is most known for writing LA Confidential, which was turned into an excellent film. He write about the darker sides of American life and crime. Most recently read American Tabloid, which focuses on cold war America and the rise of the Kennedys, plus the CIA's involvement in Cuba. A great, sweeping novel with interesting characters (always a staple in his novels).
Interesting interview with him here: